Hellraiser - Deader review by The Grim Ringler

Hellraiser – Deader

Woe to you O Dimension Films and shame as well. Shame on you for being such an awful company that was begun in good faith, shame for watering down franchises and directors and horror so it can be made suitable for minors, and shame on you for putting poor Doug Bradley through this again. Mr. Bradley, for those not in the know, is the gentleman that plays Pinhead in the Hellraiser films and I give him credit, he’s been a go-er this entire franchise. He hasn’t wanted to let the character fall into the hands of someone who would misrepresent him but wow, at this point, I think he really needs to let the character go for his own sake. Abandon Pinhead! I didn’t have a lot of hope you see, watching this most recent entry into the franchise that started so very well, and it saddens me to say that the film lived down to my expectation, far below them in fact.

Hellraiser- Deader begins with and follows a beautiful investigative reporter with a penchant for going the extra mile to get the darker stories. This has created a reputation for her but it suits her needs and keeps people away from her. When she is given an assignment to check into a group called the ‘Deaders’ this seems to be right up her alley – several young people that appear to be junkies are part of a cult that worships death to such a degree that they kill themselves in order to be brought back by their leader. Are these people really dead, or is it a trick? Can this man bring them back to life? The young reporter heads to Bucharest (which also just happens to be one of the most inexpensive places to shoot a film on the earth, but that’s besides the point), where there seem to be a lot of British expatriates for some reason, in the hopes of tracking down the one lead she has and finding out the truth of the Deaders. What the woman (the desperately beautiful Kari Wuhrer who tries but fails to make this a worthy entry into the series) finds is that her lead is dead and holding a puzzle box that will lead her right into the heart of the Deaders and into a world where life and death are hard to keep straight. But what this reporter doesn’t know is that to get this story, she will have to sell her soul, and the people buying aren’t ones that are apt to let her out of her bargain.

I truly wish I could say that this friends, this is the one that redeems the franchise. This is the movie that makes you remember how damned good the premise of the series was. Well, it isn’t. What this feels like is that someone had a really bad script for a film about a death cult and they taped it onto a Hellraiser script. Not to say that there are not some interesting ideas here – such as the idea of a war against the Cenobites and Hell – but it isn’t more than mentioned. This is so painfully low budget that you don’t even know it’s a Hellraiser movie until old Pinhead pops up – in totally inappropriate situations, such as to warn the girl that she should be scared – and then you go ‘oh, yeah, I forgot’. And I can forgive a low budget, Christ Clive Barker, the series originator had a low budget, but he made it work. And the thing with this franchise that no one seems to get, is that you can take SO MANY RISKS with it. You can make these great experimental horror films because the series is about skewing conventions and notions. Though, I suppose not any longer. I mean, this was always about the greed Man has for pleasure, even at the cost of great pain, but now it’s just, well, to use a Brit term, bollocks. What this film is is lazy. There is no real plot, the central character, despite some decent work from Ms. Wuhrer, is awfully written, and as usual it’s the darned gothy kids that are causing all the trouble. Director Bota may well become a fine filmmaker for hire but this is obviously his first or an early film and it shows. It is clumsily shot and edited and any moments of suspense are telegraphed well before they happen. And it doesn’t help that it was only fifteen minutes until the film’s conclusion and I was asking my friend Oktober when the hell the Cenobites were gonna actually enter the story, oh, there they are. Yawn. The ending couldn’t be more anti-climactic if the film had just run to credits when Pinhead and the gang popped. Hell, the film’s end had that much meaning to it. I am still waiting for someone to really fully utilize this franchise. Maybe someone has to remake the first for that to happen. Ugh. Seriously, there is so much to delve into in this series and it has been very rare that we have had that happen. These folks serve a sort of Hell yet, what do we know of what they are and why they are and such? And why the hell do they act as if Pinhead is the prince of Hell when he isn’t, he is a soldier, one of many. He just happens to be one of the many generals. If you, like me, ever read any of the terrific comics that the first films spawned then you know that there are some great stories waiting to be told…if someone was smart. But no. Modern companies like Dimension see dollar signs and nothing else. Not realizing that if you make a GOOD film, and a SCARY film that you will make far more money than if you make a quick film. Get young writers and directors onboard, get Barker back, and he will come back I bet, if you prove that you want to do something good. I can’t get why companies think that releasing crap will make them much money. A million or two, sure, but not near as much as they might make if they worked on making a great movie. Or a damned good one.

Well, that ain’t this film. Desperately boring and in need of some direction and story, this is another direct to video that is one month from the bargain bin. Sad. I pity the poor fans of this franchise that are hanging onto the faint glimmer that maybe the next one will be the return to greatness. Well, I will hope they are right, but the hope is very, very faint. Save yourself some time and money and go track down the old comics and avoid this movie. This film is utterly pointless and this side of unwatchable.

3 out of 10 Jackasses
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